I have been assigned the task of selling some guns for my grandpa. The first is a S&W factory engraved Combat Masterpiece. I'm unsure of the model. He told me he paid $2700 for it new. Here's some pictures:
By the pattern of the checkering on the top of the receiver, I'd have to say it is a 'pre' model 27 , with the scarce 3 1/2 inch barrel..........this would make it an "N" frame gun and cannot tell if the front end is "bare" metal or maybe 'nickel' plated...if the gun 'letters' as a 3 1/2 inch no problem, but by being "two-tone" possibly could have been 're-barreled'...any Idea who did the engraving?? if 'factory' will add to the value...I'd call the factory and try and contact Mr Roy Jinks and get a bit of info from him or at least the "factory letter"..........
odd that it has the target hammer,but standard trigger... and are the grips "ivory" or not.....all make it pricewise go up or down
If "correct" well worth that $2,700 price tag today.........
Well, it's definitely not a Combat Masterpiece. They were chambered only in 22 LR or 38 Special plus they didn't have the barrel under lug and the front sight was different..
What you have is a Pre Mod 27 or possibly a Registered Magnum. This gun is also called a 5-screw Pre-Mod 27. This is 3.5" N-frame, made before model numbers were assigned. The serial number on the butt (under the grips) would nail down the DOB, not that it matters much. Considering the heavy engraving, I'm betting the grips are elephant ivory. If the engraving was done by S&W, they will have a record of it with all the details. You can call them and get a letter of authenticity. It used to be $50 but I don't know how much they charge now. What ever it is, a letter from S&W will increase the value by much more than it costs to get one.
You have a gem there ... get a professional appraisal and go through one of the high end auction houses to sell it. It's worth a lot!
Here's probably the world's best authority on S&Ws ... Jim Supica. He wrote the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson. Here's the appraisal portion of his web site: http://www.armchairgunshow.com/gunvalue.htm He does high end auctions and will get top dollar for your revolver.
I agree with Iowegan. Your granpa's gun is a pre-27 N frame .357. I strongly urge
you to start with a letter from S&W, Thant letter will answer alot of questions--
mainly how the gun left the factory and where it was shipped. That letter will tell you
if S&W did the engraving and the engravers name. If S&W's master engraver did the
work, then S&W did the nickle plating work on the gun as well. The grips look like Ivory.
If all of these conditions prove true, your granpa has at least a $5000.00 gun I would
urge very strongly that insurance in at least that amount be purchased right now. I have
seen 3.5 inch pre-27's in the plain blue sell anywhere from $900.00 to $1500.00
Start by getting the letter from S&W and go from there.